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How to find & detect Snares and traps.


Hello You may be asking your self how hard is it to find snares and illegal traps like the Gin trap and so on this is not as hard to answer as you may think as every one knows snares  & traps are every where it is locating them and how to do it as quickly as possible.
1). The first place to look around for Snares is near pheasant pens game keepers will lay them around the area near the pens to catch foxes the problem with this is it not only catches foxes but badgers & domestic animals as well.

What I have found in some parts of the British countryside are Blue or White containers filled with corn seed this is often fixed to tree's with a metal coil at the base they are often hidden in the woods. This is often near shooting estates or near farms look for lots of bird seed on the ground in your local woods this is so the shooting parties have a supply of birds to kill.

This is a good area to look for snares and traps as well don't think for one minute that because some types of traps and snares are banned that they won't be used which is more important to the person setting them wildlife or money.

2). The best way to search for snares & traps in the woods or in fields or around Pheasant pens is with a Simple metal detector as the Snare is metal and if there is no metal fence near the search coil then it will help find metal objects faster as we are only interested in finding metal objects above ground we do not need a very dear metal detector for very little money the one in the photo is only £50.00.

The Detector in the photo is the Discriminating Metal Detector

Three tone audio discrimination - sounds distinctive tones for different types of metal to make target identification easier. Analogue meter - shows type of metal being detected Auto tune - lets you tune your detector quickly for accuracy Waterproof search coil good in wet conditions. The search coil is waterproof, but the detectors control housing is not Cost for this Detector is £30 pound from Maplin Electronics or click the link below in yellow. Order code N19AC  Diff Metal Detector.

Whilst you donít need a licence to own or use a metal detector in the UK, there are stringent laws about its use. Itís illegal to use one on private land without prior permission from the owner. It is also illegal to use one on a Scheduled Archaeological Site.

If you are looking for a more professional metal detector try your local toy store or look on the net for your nearest hobby or electronic store that sells electronic parts like www.maplin.co.uk 

The Walk & Seek Wizard is a powerful precision wearable or hand held metal detector designed specifically for wearing on your feet!. The Walk & Seek Wizard provides powerful precise detection of small metal objects which can be buried in sand, soil or grass. Designed for use on the beach, lawns, fields or anywhere you can walk. I think this Metal detector for your feet will locate Snares that have fallen down and are covered with leafs & twigs the same goes for Fenn traps the unit Retails for $29.95 This is a American Company you can order this item from their web site.  http://detection.com

This is for people on a budget or that want to know how to build a very simple metal detector that will fit in their pocket and can be made longer when at the site you are searching for snares or traps. As most of us know you can buy hand held detectors that will fit in the palm of your hand when you get to your location take out the detector look around for a long stick or branch off a tree then using some tape PVC tape is fine for this tape the hand held detector at one end of the stick or branch then you can start the search for snares or traps this is a good way if a full size metal detector will not fit in a hole to look for traps like the gin trap or fenn traps. It could even be used for tight area like bushes when you are finished searching just take the tape off and put the detector back in your pocket. You should have no problem location a small hand held detector like above try www.maplin.co.uk or your local DIY Stores or local electrical suppliers. The unit above cost £10 pound from Maplin electronics order code RL92A.

If you get stopped with the metal detector then inform that person that you have lost your key's in the area when out bird watching and you are using the detector to try and locate them.

When looking around for snares or traps the first thing to do is to look around bushes & hedges or where long grass is if the grass is kept short at one point then long again check it out a snare or trap may be at the short point in the run of grass as animals will look for the simplest way under a metal or wooden fence.

Look around your local woods or Forrest for small ponds or pools of water that are often there this is a good place to look for Snares or Traps as every animal needs water they may use this for there water supply.

Look where animal trails are and wooden logs or big hollowed out logs look at the top and bottom of it as animals may go in side for shelter and search around and under leafs for traps and snares on the hills and so on. 

How to find Snares & Traps with out the help of a Metal Detector or the use of the excellent GPS system by satellites.

If you are in some parts of the world like Africa and so on if you see non targeted animals with snares court around their leg or body please contact your local park or wildlife ranger give them as much information as possible and where you seen the snared animal last. If you do not know your local park rangers number this will be in the phone book or contact the operator ask them for the number of the park ranger serves in the area that you seen the Snared or injured Animal last or you can find the information by using a search engine like www.askjeeves.com Snares are a global problem and not just a UK or Ireland one..

If you find a number of wooden or metal post's or stake's in the ground have a closer look at them it may have a snare or trap fixed to them or look for plastic tubes or pipes that may contain a small Fenn trap in side them.

If you are in a area with a lot of old farm barns look around them for the Fenn traps or gin trap as down to farmers storing animal food they may set traps and have snares in the area as well the problem with Snares & Traps apart from being out dated and barbaric when set they can lie dormant for years be for a animal steps on one or presser from the animals body closes them. 

You can look at rabbit burrows and fox earths for snares & traps or even look at badger set's for snares but do not interfere with the set's just take the snare or trap away if you have a SLR or Digital camera take a photo of the trap or Snare where it is lying and report it to the police wildlife liaison officer at your local police station and give them as much information as you can. 


When looking around buches be very careful as this is often a place where poachers will put down items like the banned Gin trap & so on.
This type of item is often covered with leafs to hide it so use a long stick to move the leafs from the area around the metal object as this item can close very quick and can cause damage to your hand  wear gloves to protect your hands from cans and smashed bottles & sharp objects.


Why we are on the subject of metal detectors why not use a more power full one to try and find Artificial earth's as most of the fox breeding chambers have metal roofs or metal cages around them. Click on the fox photo above

The Metal detector will quickly tell you if the metal article you have found is of big size or not by moving the search coil over it and if it needs more looking at. Please note not every Artificial fox breeding chamber use metal.

If you want to know more about finding Traps & Snares pop in to your local Library look for books on trapping and Snaring or survival techniques. This is a good way to find the hiding places of traps & snares it will give you some idea where to start looking and searching for them some hunting magazines do video's on how to set snares and the best place for them this will help you find them if you find one keep looking you will find more.

Please note it is not just gamekeepers that set snares some farmers do as well as do poachers this is why the use of a metal detector is so use full in finding snares and traps. The Snare in the photo is a  Illegal AB Snare thank you to the NASC for the photo.

The photo above shows a female badger killed by a snare this year in South Yorkshire, and the cub which died of starvation/dehydration at her nearby set to see the full Story visit the www.antisnaring.org.uk/ I would like to thank Simon Wild and the team at the NASC for the photo.

In the case of wild bird traps look on fence posts and tree stumps for the Pole trap. The best way to detect this type of trap is with good quality binoculars to scan the top of fence posts you can cover a very big area in a matter of minutes as the trap will be on top and in the open.

  If you see a lot of moss on a post or tree stump then this may indicate  that the trap is under the moss as most game keepers and criminals will hide the trap not just form the birds but from people looking for them as well so keep your eye's open. 

The photo above shows us the work of a Mark IV Fenn trap with a stoat trapped and killed in it the Fenn trap was invented by Mr A. A. Fenn from Alcester, Warwickshire United Kingdom there are a number of models now available and are used around the world. The places to look for the Fenn trap are along fences, hedges or the banks of a stream, in bush among tree roots, beside fallen logs or in dry culverts or any where for that matter.

This photo of a Vixen fox that got trapped in a Gin Trap just shows the cruelty and why if you see traps like the Gin Trap and more they should be removed and reported to the Police or your Local Animal Rescue Centre. I would like to say a big thank you to Paul & Marie from Derbyshire Fox Rescue for the Photos. You can visit their site here & here is their Business site

This fox that got court in a banned Gin Trap was found by Some caring members of the public that alerted the Galway Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Ireland.  Click here to see the full article about this case. I would like to say a big thank you to the following people for allowing me to re-publish the photo and to show how cruel devises like this are and if you find them report them. First thank you goes to Philip Kiernan of the Irish Council Against Blood Sports. I would like to say a big thank you to Margaret O'Sullivan and the team at the Galway SPCA Ireland for their permission to publish the photo as well on this site thank you.

  The gin trap 

This trap has been banned in Britain since 1958. It was basically designed as a 'leg hold' trap, the idea being not to kill the prey but to hold it until the gamekeeper or trapper came to dispatch the animal. Gin traps were usually placed in the entrances to burrows or in artificial tunnels. The main difference between the gin trap and any other is that the jaws of the trap are toothed or serrated and this is what gave the trap its ability to hold its prey, mainly by the leg. 

Anyone found guilty of setting a gin trap which causes unnecessary suffering to an animal faces a maximum £5,000 fine and/or six months in prison. 

In 2004, there were 23 convictions for trapping-related offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981.

When investigating gin trap complaints always check the underside of any trap for signs of soil or fresh rust, also check the spring mechanism for oil and scuff marks. These signs may indicate the recent use of the trap. Be aware that legal spring traps which have been modified by having teeth cut into the jaws or even having fencing staples welded onto them are illegal. These modifications alter the trap into a form of gin.

If you have Information on People having leg traps in your area inform the local http://www.online.police.uk/forces.htm  to check it out or your local RSPCA Inspector www.rspca.org that will be more than happy to help and have the power to get access to the device to check it out do not tell the person that you are going to report them for having the device. 

The National Anti-Snares Web Site

ACT - Against Corvid Traps Exposing Shooting's Vile Underbelly

In the case of wild Birds look out for netting in the woods this is often put up by wildlife criminals to catch wild birds so they can be sold on the black market in other Country's look out for netting high up in the trees or things that look a bit odd in our country side. If you do see something that looks a bit odd contact your local Police station ask to speak to the wildlife Liaison officer or contact the www.rspca.org.uk or in the case of wild bird's contact the  www.rspb.org.uk or visit the PAW web site on how to report wildlife crime.

In the case of hare netting this is a long net strung out across a field so the hare courser's can send there dogs in so the hares run out and get court in the netting this is so they get taken to hare coursing events as will often be the case there will be gangs of courser's in one field contact your local police station or the www.rspca.org.uk or the  www.league.uk.com ask to speak to the investigation team the LACS are interested in every form of wildlife crime and need your help to expose it. Radio scanning, badger digging hare coursing & the police what you should know. Photo by LACS Investigating team.

If you would like to know more about GPS systems and how it can help you work from a OS map as well and find the location of Snares and Traps or artificial earths not just in the UK but else where in case you need to visit the area at a later date. Like woods and areas you do not know well it can be set to track you when you enter and give you the way back out. Click on the banner above for more information.

 If you do use a GPS receiver for this you can down load the information on to your computer and keep a record of the area and the GPS reading that was taken at the time so if you want to go back to the area just upload the GPS reading back into your GPS receiver you will need a lead to connect the GPS unit to your Computer ask your nearest GPS dealer about this and give them the GPS model you use.  www.Garmin.com   

Wildlife Crime & Wildlife 
Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime (PAW)
Enforcement Plan (200
4 - 2007)

This video graphically illustrates just a small number of examples of wildlife crime, and the devastating effects it can have.

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